Russia, Croatia each make one change for quarter-final

Fans celebrate Russia's victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match against Spain in Nikolskaya Street

Denis Cheryshev marked his return to the starting line-up with yet another contender for goal of the tournament after his stunning efforts against Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the group stage, but his first-half opener was cancelled out by Andrej Kramaric just eight minutes later.

Neither team scored in the second half before Croatia took its only lead of the game on Domagoj Vida's one-hop header through a pair of defenders in the 101st minute.

Russian Federation president, Vladimir Putin, has congratulated the country men's national football team coach, Stanislav Cherchesov and his players despite their elimination from the 2018 World Cup at the hands of Croatia on Saturday night. While it was never a classic, this game will be warmly remembered by the Croatians for their heroic display as they ground out a 2-2 draw to win 4-3 in the penalty shoot-out. "After the game, Putin phoned him again and noted the team's worthy performance at the World Cup, as well as Russia's attractive and determined game in the historic match against Croatia". After saving the first, Subasic was aided when Mario Fernandes missed the net with the third attempt.

"We feel like conscripts, when they come to just before they have done their two-year (national) service, like those a bit demoralised who wanted to stay in the army for some more time longer".

"We expect a very hard and tough, tight, demanding match, every match at this World Cup is like that", Modric said at a post-match press conference, broadcast via FIFATV.

Luka Modric is the team's star but it is goalkeeper Subasic who got them past the finishing line against Russian Federation.

Then they were up against Spain in the round-of-16, which many expected to be a procession for the 2010 winners, but they got through - albeit after a penalty shootout.

Croatia were level six minutes from half-time after a brilliant counter. Belgium and France will clash in the first semi-final on Tuesday.

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In the first 20 minutes, they also created a couple of chances with crosses from right-back Sime Vrsaljko but striker Mario Mandzukic couldn't be in right position to have a shot at goal.

Whenever a Croatian player touched the ball throughout the game, loud boos and whistles could be heard.

Russian Federation endured the penalty pain for a change, after having inflicted the same on Spain in the Round of 16.

Croatia's win sees them emulate their 1998 side by reaching the World Cup's last four, and on Wednesday will face England at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in the final.

Such has been the eruptive nature this of this World Cup, any one of about 10 goals could be considered the tournament's best.

Ultimately, they owed their success to fortune with both their goals down to a slackness in the Russian defence, first in their scattered marking to allow Kramaric acres of space to head home in the box and then to allow a tame Vida header to creep in from a corner.

That would not be the only goal of the tournament contender from Cheryshev in that match as he got his second and Russia's fourth with a trivela goal Ricardo Quaresma would have been proud of.

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